BMA calls for ‘tougher action’ on preventable ill health

Jeremy Corbyn and John Mc Donnell at Labour Conference

Labour reject the idea of the Tories as the party of the NHS

It shifts the focus to primary and community care services and the value they can bring in offering early support.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said the extra £20.5 billion a year promised by prime minister Theresa May to the NHS in June, gives the DH "a unique opportunity to radically change the focus of health and social care onto prevention".

Commenting on the document, Sandra Gidley, Chair of RPS England Board, said the vision "need to be matched by appropriate investment" by the government, particularly in the backdrop of "continued pressure on local authority budgets and cuts to public health services".

"There is a need to reserve the cuts to public health budgets, as in many areas, public health services do not adequately meet the health needs of the local population", he said.

There's also a strong emphasis on people taking responsibility after their own health and receiving care in the community rather than hospital, all in the hope of "slowing the growth in demands on the NHS and making it sustainable for future generations", says the document, "whilst closing the gap between the richest and poorest".

The health secretary suggested that members of the public should "look after themselves better" by staying active, quitting smoking and cutting down on alcohol consumption.

The general public need to take more responsibility for their own health in order to increase life expectancy and prevent illness, Matt Hancock has said.

The UK is now spending £97bn from the public purse on treating disease but just £8bn on preventing it, Mr Hancock is expected to tell the meeting during his keynote speech.

"Making better choices by limiting alcohol, sugar, salt and fat".

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Mr Hancock did not accept the point, claiming there had been a fall in inequality under the Conservatives, and stressing the "record number of jobs" available. "You don't have to be an economist to see those numbers don't stack up", he said.

Two other major plans include diagnosing 75 percent of cancers at stages 1 and 2 by 2028 and sequencing 5 million genomes in 5 years, and offering whole-genome sequencing to all seriously ill children and those with cancer by 2019, as well as adults with rare diseases or cancers.

"That's why prevention matters".

Mr Hancock later told Sky News the recent £20.5bn extra funding for the NHS was not reliant on a Brexit deal.

Investing in prevention is the smartest thing we can do.

Helen Donovan, from the Royal College of Nursing, welcomed the plans but said they needed to be backed up with serious investments.

"We have to back this commitment with real action and properly fund and staff these important services", he urged.

Labour MP Jonathan Ashworth said while the plans are "laudable", they follow "years of cuts and failed privatisation".

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